Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1962 Lees Archer Stout

I’ve been scouring my brewing records looking for Milk Stouts. And I have to say that I’ve found disappointingly few.

I’m not totally sure why that is. From labels and advertisements it’s clear that a high proportion of breweries had a Milk Stout in their portfolio. Most likely explanation I can think of is that an ordinary Stout had lactose added at racking time. Though I could be wrong.

Imagine my delight, then, at spotting lactose in Lees Archer Stout. I’ve published a recipe for Lees Stout from 1952 which didn’t contain lactose. Looking through the records, I saw that they only started using it in 1956. Which seems quite late for introducing a Milk Stout.

Though it seems that they never billed it as such. The labels I’ve seen for Archer Stout make no mention of milk sugar. They don’t even claim that it’s sweet. Strange, as it contains about the same percentage of lactose as other Milk Stouts.

Archer Stout wasn’t the only Lees beer to contain lactose. Their Best Mild did, too. Though, intriguingly, not their Ordinary Mild. Make of that what you will.

Turning to the beer itself, Archer Stout has quite a complicated grist, consisting of three malts, one adjunct and four sugars. The brown malt in my recipe is a substitution for something called “oak dried” malt. Brown malt seems like the best equivalent. There’s also a reasonable amount of flaked oats in the recipe. So it’s odd that the brewery didn’t claim Archer was either an Oatmeal or a Milk Stout.

The No. 3 invert is another substitution, this time for CDM and HX. CDM I’m pretty sure was a dark sugar, based on its usage at various breweries. HX I’ve no idea about

I know nothing about the hops, other than that most were English with a tiny amount of Styrians, just 2 out of the total of 28 lbs. Fuggles seems a good bet for this type of beer, but, as usual, feel free to substitute any appropriate English hop.

As Lees couldn’t be arsed to note down the FG, I’ve had to make a guess. It could be wildly wrong, though I doubt it could have been much lower. Could have been higher.

1962 Lees Archer Stout
pale malt 2.75 lb 40.26%
brown malt 1.00 lb 14.64%
black malt 0.50 lb 7.32%
flaked oat 0.33 lb 4.83%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.75 lb 10.98%
No. 4 invert sugar 0.50 lb 7.32%
lactose 1.00 lb 14.64%
Fuggles 90 min 0.75 oz
Fuggles 30 min 0.75 oz
OG 1036
FG 1014
ABV 2.91
Apparent attenuation 61.11%
IBU 20
SRM 29
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1318 London ale III (Boddingtons)


Kevin said...

Where DO you get your invert sugars? I live in the US and was at my local homebrew store just yesterday to ask about #3 invert sugar and he directed me to the Belgium candi sugars.

Ron Pattinson said...


the sad answer is that you have to make them yourself.

You can find destructions here:

Anonymous said...

Make at least two pounds at a time. For me it always seems to take longer than those instructions and it is a pain to make a fresh batch every time you want to brew. It keeps indefinitely, and if you never brew more than one batch with it, you can always use the extra for pancakes.

qq said...

Not sure that your usual "if in doubt use Fuggles" is always appropriate, particularly post-war. Suspect there's a fair chance they'd be using Bullion or Brewer's Gold by that time? Which have a very different flavour to Fuggles.

The thought occurs that at this time the UK hop suppply was being micro-managed by the Hops Marketing Board and I'd imagine that somewhere (National Archives? Wye?) there will be pretty good records of at least what individual brewers were using at a bulk level, which could be aligned with what's in the brew records. You might well find that eg a brewer only bought Goldings from Hereford and Fuggles from Kent, so if the brew records say Hereford then you know they mean Goldings.

Both Fuggles and Goldings are a nightmare from the farming point of view, so from both a cost and security of supply aspect, there would have been pressure to move on to the new higher-alpha varieties.